The Macan has quite a few opponents in the luxury sport crossover segment.
When Porsche introduced the Cayenne for the 2004 model year, they sparked some controversy from purists referring to the performance brand as selling out. We’ve never had an issue with the existence of the Cayenne, and I was actually quite impressed with the first Macan I tested earlier this year. Packing serious punch and offering an actual personality as opposed to its bland rivals, I was enamoured with the Macan’s dynamics. Now, in an attempt to introduce even more buyers into the Porsche lineup, there is a new model. We were invited to sample the entry level 2017 Porsche Macan with the four-cylinder engine and evaluate how it rivals some big players in the luxury crossover segment.
Until now, the Macan S, with its base price of $59,200, was the most inexpensive way to get into this model. This base Macan starts at just $52,700, paving the path to a more substantial and attractive alternative to the Mercedes-Benz GLC (reviewed here) or the BMW X3. Priced quite close to the slightly larger Lexus RX 350 (reviewed here), the Macan is easily the prettiest of the bunch. Using the same Porsche styling cues as seen on the larger Cayenne, the Macan’s lines are sexier and it appears muscular without any compromises. The Macan is also 81mm shorter in overall height than the Cayenne, which contributies to a sleeker profile.
Visually, it’s easy to decipher the Macan from the Macan S in manners other than its decklid badging. The Macan also gets a black window surround, a new design of 18” wheel, and black brake calipers. On the inside, the dashboard and door panel trim is black (with an option to choose a piano black finish) and a black tachometer. Ergonomics are excellent, and the Macan is a very comfortable place to spend time. Along with standard lane departure warning, the latest generation of PCM (Porsche Communication Management) is also on board, something we sampled in the Macan GTS earlier this season.
Standard equipment on all Macan models includes 18” alloy wheels, eight-way power front seats, a multifunction heated steering wheel, three-zone climate control, automatic garage door opener, power folding liftgate, and rear view camera with front and rear parking sensors. The standard headlights are halogen rather than xenon, but this is an option should you want. As with other Porsche models, available options from the factory are plentiful, though a nice touch is the standard seats with Alcantara inserts and adjustable lumbar support.
The biggest differentiator of the entry level Macan is the engine. Rather than using six-cylinder engines, this model gets a 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder. Output here is 252 horsepower between 5,000 and 6,800RPM, and 273 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 4,500RPM. Porsche claims a run to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, which is reduced to 6.5 on models equipped with the Sport Chrono Package (a must-have in our opinion). All Canadian Macans get all-wheel-drive as standard equipment.
This is the same four-cylinder seen in other Volkswagen Group products, though tuned uniquely for the Porsche application, and is one of my personal favourite four-cylinders available right now. The seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is standard equipment across the board, and has long since been established as a benchmark in the dual-clutch transmission segment. The paddle shifters feel good in your hands and are very responsive, with shifts coming in just fractions of a second.
Fuel ratings for the four-cylinder Macan are as little as 9.3L/100km on the highway, and a combined 10.6L/100km, with a requirement for premium 91-octane fuel. Over our brief drive loop, we averaged about 10.4L/100km, and this is with some spirited driving. I don’t doubt the typical owner to hover in the 10L/100km mark in typical day-to-day driving. The fuel tank will hold 75L of fuel. No diesel is offered at the time of this writing, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see this down the line.
Not very many Canadian customers will buy the low-spec Macan model, and Porsche forecasts a typical purchase price in the low $60,000 range. This would include models equipped with navigation, Premium Package Plus with ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats, Bose audio, intelligent key, and a few other gizmos. Many will also opt for larger wheels and unique colour choices. The Macan can be configured to be more expensive than many of its rivals, but the level of customization and equipment is also far more comprehensive.
The 2017 Porsche Macan has quite a few opponents in the luxury sport crossover segment, and most of them have already established themselves to be compelling enough to return successful sales numbers. Porsche introduced the Macan with a series of hot trim levels with varying degrees of performance, but this four-cylinder is the one that will generate the most Canadian sales. After spending some time with the car, it’s pretty evident why – the thing is an absolute delight.